Digital Transformation and Socio-Economic Outlook in the Post-Covid19 Era

The Information and Communication Research Institute of South Korea recently published a research report on predicting the future of the reorganization of the international order after COVID-19, changes in the overall economic and social structure, and seeking mid- to long-term strategic and policy countermeasures to preemptively respond to major challenges. The research report used the results of the existing future outlook, but did cross-analysis of the factors of change triggered by COVID-19 to derive major trends in the upcoming future world and used them as basic data for establishing mid- to long-term policies in the future. In addition, based on data-based future prediction methodologies such as big data analysis and expert Delphi, it analyzed and predicted future social changes caused by the acceleration of digital transformation after COVID-19 and presented mid- to long-term policy tasks based on digital innovation.

The main contents of the research report are as follows:

  • As face-to-face contact is prohibited and avoided to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the society begins to change into a risk-oriented society, shrinking overall social activities. As the use of digital technology expands to overcome such social disconnection, the influence of big tech companies may increase, and problems such as fake news and security may also intensify. The global economic downturn and cut-off of exchanges caused by COVID-19 triggered the restructuring of the existing global value chain and restored the contaminated environment, and a new order is expected to emerge due to the absence of leaders who can lead global issues. Major domestic and foreign institutions and opinion leaders evaluate post-COVID-19 as an era where inevitable change is required into a completely new world and argue that COVID-19 should be used as an opportunity to drastically reorganize the social and economic system that has been in need of improvement.
  • Due to the spread of the pandemic COVID-19 at the global level, the post-COVID-19 world is expected to show a completely different future. The shock implies a two-sided meaning of crisis and opportunity that opens the first chapter of the New Normal era based on the end of the traditional industrial structure and non-face-to-face. The current COVID-19 issue can serve as an opportunity for technological innovation and social transformation as a catalyst for digital transformation across society, depending on how the crisis is predicted and alternatives are sought. The key is whether our society can turn the current turmoil and crisis into a stepping stone for a leap forward to evolve to the next level.
  • In this context, the researchers searched for future predictions and future countermeasures after scientific analysis of the nature and impact of the current crisis represented by COVID-19.
  • First, in the political field, this study puts securing political leadership to strengthen the role of the public sector as a major vision and selected establishing governance and strengthening advanced e-government capabilities as major practical tasks. As a result of quantitative analysis, it was found that Korea’s political control slightly weakened during the COVID-19 situation compared to before COVID-19. According to the predictive model, it appears to recover somewhat after COVID-19, but the degree of recovery does not reach before COVID-19. As suggested by the researchers, it is necessary to focus on innovating high-tech-based government capabilities beyond recovery to pre-COVID-19.
  • In the field of diplomacy, the researchers recommended showing leadership in the international community by modeling the experience of a successful response to COVID-19. It is predicted that the leading participation of global governance in the health sector could lead to a leading role in international discussions for social restoration after COVID-19. Even after the end of COVID-19, infectious disease issues are still expected to be treated as important issues as global megatrend issues, and it is recommended to develop and lead a global quarantine governance agenda based on successful quarantine cases in Korea.
  • In the economic field, the vision put forward by this study was to establish a new economic system based on trust and process. As practical tasks, it proposed a diversification strategy to resolve concentrated trade dependence and overcome protectionist barriers, preemptive relief measures to alleviate business closures and unemployment damage caused by the economic recession, resolving financial and consumption vulnerabilities, and converting the fair economy system to secure market trust.
  • In the field of industrial technology, the vision is to invest in R&D and foster innovation-oriented industries to build social safety infrastructure. It was suggested that it is important to secure medical infrastructure to prepare for health risks such as intensive investment in the medical health sector, which is directly related to public safety and health, and public isolation hospitals for medical personnel. In society after COVID-19, existing global risk factors will still exist, and a technology-based response is needed.
  • In the social and cultural fields, the researchers suggested the creation of transparent social and cultural conditions based on trust in community education innovation and communication to improve human competency to resolve social conflicts.

The outbreak of COVID-19 revealed the lack of digital-based social innovation capabilities in our society. In order to re-leap into society after COVID-19, it is necessary to establish infrastructure that can trigger digital-based social innovation and to reorganize the legal system to strengthen user capabilities.


Categories: Society